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Bachelor of Science in Geophysics

The following courses are required for the B.S. degree in Geophysics. A written report on original research or an honors thesis is also required through participation in two or three quarters of GEOPHYS 185, Research Seminar Series, typically during the senior year. The departmental program proposal form can be downloaded at Seniors in Geophysics who expect to do graduate work should take the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) early in their final undergraduate year.



Students must complete course sequences in supporting mathematics and cognate sciences.

MATH 19,20,21. Calculus or MATH 41,42. Calculus and MATH 53. Ordinary Differential Equations

PHYSICS 41 and 110. Mechanics and Intermediate Mechanics

EE 141. Engineering Electromagnetics

or PHYSICS 120. Intermediate Electricity and Magnetism

CHEM 31A,B. Chemical Principles 1 and 2, or CHEM 31X, Chemical Principles (accelerated)


Students must take each of the following:

GES 1. Fundamentals of Geology

GEOPHYS 150. General Geophysics

or GEOPHYS 190. Introduction to Geophysical Field Methods

GEOPHYS 201. Frontiers of Geophysical Research at Stanford


  1. Three approved upper-level (100 or higher) Geophysics lecture courses, typically chosen from the following:

    GEOPHYS 107. Journey to the Center of the Earth

    GEOPHYS 140. The Earth from Space: Introduction to Remote Sensing

    GEOPHYS 150. General Geophysics and Physics of the Earth

    GEOPHYS 160. Waves

    GEOPHYS 170. Global Tectonics

    GEOPHYS 180. Geophysical Inverse Problems

    GEOPHYS 190. Introduction to Geophysical Field Methods

    GEOPHYS 222. Reflection Seismology

    GEOPHYS 262. Rock Physics

  2. 6 units of GEOPHYS 185. Research Seminar Series (includes WIM requirement)
  3. Three additional approved upper-level (100 or higher) Earth Sciences lecture courses, typically chosen from the above GEOPHYS electives or from the following:

    GES 102. Earth Materials

    GES 110. Structural Geology and Tectonics

    GES 111A. Fundamentals of Structural Geology

    EESS 160. Statistical Methods for Earth and Environmental Sciences

    ENERGY 120. Fundamentals of Petroleum Engineering


Students are recommended to take a programming class, but may not substitute it for any of the required or elective classes above.

CS 106A. Programming Methodology


The department offers a program leading to the B.S. degree in Geophysics with honors. The guidelines are:

  1. Select a research project, either theoretical, field, or experimental, that has the approval of an adviser.
  2. Submit a proposal to the department, which decides on its suitability as an honors project. Necessary forms are in the department office.
  3. Course credit for the project is assigned by the adviser within the framework of GEOPHYS 205.
  4. The decision whether a given independent study project does or does not merit an award of honors is made jointly by the department and the student's adviser. This decision is based on the quality of both the honors work and the student's other work in Earth sciences.
  5. The work done on the honors program cannot be used as a substitute for regularly required courses.

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